One of the most rewarding parts of being a parent is watching your child learn, grow and develop new skills. Toys are a big part of this journey as they can promote the development of your little one in areas such as – problem solving, creative thinking, maths and literacy, communication and emotional growth.
Here are a few simple tips to consider before choosing educational toys for your child.
What is your child interested in, and what is their ability level?
For a toy to help your child develop, they have to want to play with it. If your child is interested in building, look for ergonomic toys that encourage them to use their imagination. If they like to draw, try to incorporate ways they can use alphabet blocks to label what’s in their picture. Also, keep your child’s age in mind as the toy needs to be fun as well as challenging. If they find playing with it frustrating, they will stop engaging.
Can the toy be used in a variety of ways?
Toys such as blocks can be used to create so many different things and can be used over and over again. Children can create their own structures whilst developing problem-solving skills and engaging in the design process. Toys such as the Sand Pal Builders Kit grow with your child and encourage STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) learning in a fun, imaginative way.
Does the toy promote the spark of imagination?
Imaginative play helps develop your child’s creative thinking, emotional growth and communication skills. By taking on different roles, your child will be using different language and will learn how to negotiate, give instructions and how to share.
Great toys to promote imaginative play are tents to create dens, binoculars for exploring the natural world, a toy cash register and pretend money to develop social and numeracy skills.
Does the toy promote social skills?
Collaboration and cooperative play are essential for developing social skills and can be taught from a young age. From building blocks and shape sorters to puzzles and board games, these are all great toys that promote turn-taking and sharing. Older children will also learn how to problem-solve together and work as a team.
Can the toy help them to explore the world around them?
Toys that can be used in all weathers and environments are fantastic for supporting your child to explore the world around them. Magnifying glasses and bug collectors are great toys for getting your child interested in the natural world.
The Sand Pal Builders Kit can be used in sand, snow and mud, which promotes lots of how and why questions about temperature, texture, the weather and what lives in these environments. You can investigate these questions together by using books and engaging them even further in their growth and development.
Set aside sometime each day to support your child in their learning and get in on the fun!